Do People Self Diagnose?

I think we all venture a guess on why we feel bad – cold, flu, rash.  And, at least from my perspective, that might lead to an OTC (over-the-counter) medication.  BUT, apparently 30% of people use that self-diagnosis to self-prescribe and borrow medication from friends and family.  That has some more significant risks associated with it and can lead to an incomplete medical record if something happens to you (i.e., a severe side effect). 

According to the recent survey:

  • 3/4th of those that borrowed a medication did it to avoid seeking formal medical care
  • 1/3rd of those who tried to avoid a medical visit (or 1/4th of those that borrowed a medication) ended up at the physician anyways
  • 25% of those that borrowed a medication experienced a side effect (or believed they did)

I think we all know that borrowing medications is wrong.  The only time I would think you might be okay is you were prescribed the identical chemical entity and strength and had a friend that had changed medications and had some extra.  Since the reality is that there is a lot of excess medication out there given all the non-adherence.

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